Has anyone ever made a rectangle PVC structure succesfully

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Blue Jester
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Has anyone ever made a rectangle PVC structure succesfully

Post by Blue Jester » Thu Dec 23, 2004 12:57 pm

I have been going over a few ideas for a 12"x14" rectangle with a large painters tarp covering but am not sure of the stability of it all.so if you have any ideas i would like your input

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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:49 pm

A 12" by 14" structure should be no problem, assuming that you secure it to the Playa firmly. Of course, if you want to do more than shade a six-pack of beer with it, you may want one a bit larger...

12' by 14' shouldn't be a problem either, assuming you select large enough diameter PVC. Steel tubing will last almost forever, and is much stronger when the 70mph winds hit. Still have to securely fasten it to the Playa...

Many people bring those PVC "Garage Port" style structures, few last the week unless they are reinforced (ymmv)

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swampdog
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how determined?

Post by swampdog » Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:43 pm

how determined are you for those dimensions? We had a rectangular footprint that my campmates made from plans here http://www.maxicon.com/Burning_Man/PVC_ ... _playa.htm for a quonset hut like structure. You could fiddle the dimensions as needed, but it's really going to be better as a tunnel than a box, esp since the sides slope down you might need to fiddle with it quite a bit. We had a 10x30 and it was GREAT.

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Thu Dec 23, 2004 4:49 pm

What is this PVC of whom you speak? Of what is it conjoined?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Blue Jester
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Post by Blue Jester » Thu Dec 23, 2004 10:16 pm

well i did mean 12ftx14ft not inches, I just thought i should say that so i don't look like a complet idiot,and i planned to put about 5-6 gromits on each side of the painters tarp and fasten them with ropes or bungee cord staked to the gound with rebar.Again i would appreciate input

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:13 am

So, it's an untreated cotton tarp with no grommets, or something else? Why PVC as opposed to wood, steel, aluminum, etc? For poles or struts? You want to use it because you already have some sitting around? What pipe size/dia? You want to rig this "structure" on the flat as shade or as an A-frame tent or what? Do you have a Scout manual sitting around? Tried Googling on ["burning man" pvc] or [tarp + "lean-to] or [Bedouin + tent]? Tried a military surplus store for tent poles?

I've used cheap painters tarps from Harbor Freight, but they're difficult to grommet because the hem isn't very wide. I punched them through the inner of the two stitch lines at ~12" o.c. Cheap tarp tears easily. Be prepared to tie it off with cord or clip it with spring clamps.

PVC is crap. It's not even "pipe" -- it's "conduit". It's not structural. It bends and snaps easily under stress and moreso in the heat of the desert. It degrades quickly in sun and heat. I've watched 15' - 25' "domes" made out of it turn into spaghetti. Very amusing if it isn't yours. The smallest diameter I'd recommend for a tent pole is 3", so you have a little room to fill it with concrete. People do use it, and I've seen elegant looking contraptions built out of it, but they never admit that they have to keep an eye on the shit constantly in case it goes all wiggly.

Simplest thing might be to tie a tarp off to a vehicle on one end, and prop with poles on the other, with the poles tied together at the tops with cord and guyed off. The woods are full of poles. So are military surplus stores.

With painters tarp, might consider 1"x3" or 1"x4" for battens pre-attached at two ends, or a frame built like a stage flat with ply corner gussets.

The frame I use is 1-1/2" x 10' aluminum pipe joined with scaffold clamps, the kind they use for light bars in theaters. I like things that don't move in a slight breeze.

Just my opinion, YMMV, see my web page in my eplaya profile, bla bla bla.
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Fri Dec 24, 2004 10:43 am

First two years larry rigged metal conduit with threaded ends together and anchored them to the vehicle and trailer. Worked like a charm, but was not the coolest place to hang out. Next two years we used a carport, the type with metal poles, tightly guyed and nailed to the ground. Also not the coolest place to hang; it was more to protect the tents and kitchen. We've used a crappy gazebo or a popup for sittin' shade, but they suck in high winds. This year we'll use the carport again, but will restructure one end for a shady resting place. We have snow camo netting to play with.

Everything has worked well, although none of it has been ideal. The carport and the homemade rig were both quite heavy but no way would PVC have held up the same when the winds came in.

Better than tarp: billboard vinyl. Make your own tarps, strong, colorful, and often free.

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Fri Dec 24, 2004 10:45 am

Forgot: structures were indeed rectangular, one about 10x12, the carport is 10x20.

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Post by Blue Jester » Fri Dec 24, 2004 10:59 am

"Why PVC as opposed to wood, steel, aluminum, etc?"



I was just wondering wich of these would be the lightest,most durable, and fairly easy for 2-3 people to erect.I don't know much about building things, so all the ideas you guys/gals have would be great.

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Post by AntiM » Fri Dec 24, 2004 12:49 pm

Larry can practically set up the carport by himself in under 20 minutes; he only needs me to put in the legs while he holds up the roof. Of course, he's a freak of nature, but that's why I love him.

The trade off for sturdy and durable is weight. Our first shelter could ride on the jeep roof, but the carport's size and weight require a trailer. The best thing about the trailer is that we need/use it for so many other things that having one works for us. The lightweight part is factoring in the transportation, yes? And true, renting trailers sucks muchly. The carport does fit inside some vehicles, but then you lose people seating space.

A 12x14 out of PVC seems as if it would be wobbly, and I know pvc gets brittle in too much sunlight eventually, so there goes your durability. I am by no means an expert, but most pvc shelters I've seen have been curved like ribs rather than rectangular. bamboo? A combination wood, metal and pvc?

As always, ymmv!

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Fri Dec 24, 2004 1:49 pm

Just use some old skis & ski poles.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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frenchblue1
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Post by frenchblue1 » Mon Dec 27, 2004 9:04 pm

PVC is fine. Its lighter weight and easy to work with on the Playa. I've built domes out of it to form a stronger end product than a square or rectangle. Most schedule PVC sold in home improvement stores will be schedule 40 which is ok but the thicker the better. I would use at least 1 inch in diameter or 1 1/2. You can also slide smaller size inside that of another by using one wrap of duct tape on the outside of the smaller one to help secure it after you pound it in with a mallet. I would suggest that you built the structure with longer corner legs that you can put into the playa much like you would with a post. They do allow this type of excavations as long as you are smart about the process and bag your removal for later replacement.
Another option would be to make it a complete box with your PVC running along the bottom and hammer rebar in the form of a J into the playa. This will hold down the structure in the high winds.
Your cover could be silver tarps that will help prevent the sun but also the rain if it should come
You may want to think about he size of your project like a architect would. When we build structures you want to think about your dimensions in relationship to the lengths of materials. PVC comes in 10 and 20 foot lengths...yes it easy to cut but make sure your not coming up with a lot of waste or build it a little bigger or a smaller in relation to your tarp or covering size. I would suggest leaving at least 6 inches of overlap on the edges so you can use guy lines to assist in holding everything down.
Please do not forget to cover your exposed rebar posts in the playa because I will step on them during the night when I come stumbling along for a beer

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Buck Mangrove
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Re: Has anyone ever made a rectangle PVC structure succesful

Post by Buck Mangrove » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:22 pm

Blue Jester wrote:I have been going over a few ideas for a 12"x14" rectangle with a large painters tarp covering but am not sure of the stability of it all.so if you have any ideas i would like your input
Let me first say that I have NOT been to Burning Man (yet), but in doing a tremendous amount of research, I came across plans for a rectangular shelter at the web site below:

http://www.chefjuke.com/burnman/awning.html

There also appears to be pictures of the shelter set-up at Burning Man on the site below.

http://www.chefjuke.com/burnman/2004/index.html

I know you were looking for PVC-specific plans, but I thought this might help.
The future's uncertain and the end is always near...

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